Fermented Wheat Germ Extract

Author

Nancy Hepp, MS, BCCT Project Manager

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Reviewer

Laura Pole, RN, MSN, OCNS, BCCT Senior Researcher

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Last updated November 30, 2020.

Also known by these names

  • Brand names include Avemar, Avé, AvéULTRA, AWGE, Metatrol and OncoMAR
  • FWGE
  • MSC
  • Wheat germ extract

Key Points

  • Before using this therapy, consult your oncology team about interactions with other treatments and therapies. Also make sure this therapy is safe for use with any other medical conditions you may have.
  • Fermented wheat germ extract (FWGE) is a dietary supplement.
  • BCCT interest in FWGE derives from its anticancer and anti-metastatic effects across several types of cancer.
  • FWGE has enhanced the effectiveness of tamoxifen treatments in estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer cells.
  • FWGE has reduced some chemotherapy-related side effects.
  • Side effects and adverse events are uncommon and usually mild. Some patients should not use FWGE.

Fermented wheat germ extract (FWGE) is a dietary supplement sold as brand names including Avemar, Avé, AvéULTRA, AWGE, Metatrol and OncoMAR.

Treating the Cancer

Working against cancer growth or spread, improving survival, or working with other treatments or therapies to improve their anticancer action

Clinical Evidence

  • Improved response to chemotherapy and radiotherapy, extending both progression-free survival and overall survival, even in advanced stages in melanoma1
  • Improved progression-free and overall survival in high-risk melanoma patients when added to treatment with dacarbazine in a pilot study2
  • Improved progression-free and overall survival in people with colorectal cancer treated with radical surgery plus radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy3

Lab and Animal Evidence

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Managing Side Effects and Promoting Wellness

Managing or relieving side effects or symptoms, reducing treatment toxicity, supporting quality of life or promoting general well-being

Clinical Evidence

In all, evidence to date is positive but not rigorous for improvements in side effects and quality of life:

  • Improved quality of life9 and improved or reduced side effects of conventional treatment10 in limited clinical trials
  • Improved quality of life with lung cancer patients receiving chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy in a small study11 and with people with non-small cell lung cancer receiving chemotherapy12
  • Improved physical functions, emotional functions, global state of health, nausea and vomiting, insomnia and constipation in breast cancer patients in a small study13
  • Improved quality of life in head and neck cancer patients when added to standard therapy14
  • Reduced chemotherapy-induced fever that accompanies an abnormally low number of neutrophil granulocytes (a type of white blood cell) in the blood in pediatric cancer patients15 and fewer immune compromised/neutropenic episodes in pediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy16

Reducing Risk

Reducing the risk of developing cancer or the risk of recurrence

Optimizing Your Terrain

Creating an environment within your body that does not support cancer development, growth or spread

Clinical Evidence

  • Improved immunity in pediatric patients undergoing chemotherapy18

Lab and Animal Evidence

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Cautions

FWGE is not recommended for use by pregnant and nursing women, patients with sensitivity to gluten, those with fructose intolerance, or patients with organ or tissue transplants.

Because FWGE may have estrogen-receptor activity, if you have an estrogen-dependent cancer (some breast, ovarian or uterine cancer) and are thinking about taking FWGE, consult with a licensed provider who is knowledgeable and experienced with using this supplement in cancer.

Access

Fermented wheat germ extract supplements are widely available.

Dosing

BCCT does not recommend therapies or doses, but only provides information for patients and providers to consider as part of a complete treatment plan. Patients should discuss therapies with their physicians, as contraindications, interactions and side effects must be evaluated. Levels of active ingredients of natural products can vary widely between and even within products. See Quality and Sources of Herbs, Supplements and Other Natural Products.

Dosage recommendations are available from these sources:

Integrative Programs, Protocols and Medical Systems

For more information about programs and protocols, see our Integrative Programs and Protocols page.

Non-cancer Uses of FWGE

FWGE has been used in treatment for heart disease as well as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disease. BCCT has not reviewed the effectiveness of this therapy for non-cancer uses.

 

View All References

More Information

  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s About Herbs: Wheat germ extract
  • CAM-Cancer Summaries: Fermented wheat germ extract
  • Moss Reports (purchase required): Select from the list of cancers down the left side of the page for a report describing uses of conventional, complementary, alternative and integrative therapies related to that cancer. Ralph Moss is among the most knowledgeable and balanced researchers of integrative cancer therapies. The cost of his Moss Reports is not negligible, but many patients find them of considerable value. Moss is also available for consultations.
  • TRC Natural Medicines: Fermented Wheat Germ Extract (subscription required): in-depth information, ratings of effectiveness and safety and evaluation of specific resveratrol products
  • Susan G. Komen: Fermented wheat germ extract
  • Lise Alschuler, ND, FABNO, and Karolyn Gazella: The Definitive Guide to Cancer, 3rd Edition

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